Annual event provides basic necessities for community members

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Several businesses, organizations and volunteers came together on Thursday at General Beadle Elementary School to create a one stop-shop for those looking for assistance in our community.

For those individuals and families that identify themselves as homeless, basic commodities like access to information and even a haircut can sometimes be hard to come by.

The Rapid City community came together Thursday to do something about it at the annual Homeless Connect.

“We’ve got free haircuts, students from Headlines Academy here doing haircuts, and I have tons of volunteers helping me hang up clothes. I just don’t hear no from people,” said Jeanne Burckhard-McKenna, a learning specialist with the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative.

Businesses, organizations and individual volunteers offered their time and resources to those looking for assistance. Haircuts, family photo sessions, free clothes, free food, preschool registration, kids vision screenings, HIV testing, and even free books among many other comfort items were offered. Things that many of us take for granted.

Organizers say the event allows local programs to come together, pool resources and network.

“Really gets us all together even as resource people to see what’s theirs so that when we do have a family that’s in crisis or that’s in need, that we can say ‘hey we can send you to this resource or this one’ so that we’re all kind of connected,” said Burckhard-McKenna.

Beyond providing practical items and services to community members who need them, Homeless Connect’s objective is to send a bigger message.

“It’s important to not only create awareness, but just to show we are a caring community and that’s the ultimate goal,” said Sarah Glynn, a Crisis Care caseworker for the Pennington County Health and Human Services. “We want people to know that we care.”

Sometimes it’s the little things that matter.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News